Float tubes and pontoons are inherently safe…safer than many boats. I would rather be in a tube or toon during a storm than in any small boat. Most floatation craft are stable and difficult to flip. They are almost impossible to capsize and will keep you afloat as long as you can hold on if you do get dumped into the water. Digital cameras have become smaller and less costly in recent years. As long as you protect them against accidental dropping into the drink they can help record the memories of all your trips.
Some tubes and all pontoons have more than one air chamber. That provides added safety, just in case one chamber is damaged or otherwise loses air. Still others have inflated or rigid foam seats for extra floatation in the event of collapsed air chambers. Even with all of that built-in protection it is still a good idea to either wear a PFD or have one quickly available. Accidents, by definition, are events you do not anticipate or plan for. And,
with the wacko power squadron contingent on some waters these days you can never be sure of when you might need a PFD…either for yourself or someone else in the water.
Many states require that tubers and tooners at least have PFD’s on their craft at all times. Some require that you actually wear them while floating down rivers. However, even where you are not required to have a PFD on board it is wise to keep one tied off to your craft or stowed wherever you have room to hold one. Boaters and floatation fishermen alike appreciate the inflatable PFDs. These are usually fairly small, when not inflated, and can be worn under or over your fishing vest. They are not too bulky and require only a quick pull of a cord to instantly inflate them from an air cartridge. They are pricey, compared to standard PFDs, but worth the peace of mind for your family in the event you do experience something beyond the ordinary and outside your control.